The refraction chamber: Twitter as sphere and network

Bernhard Rieder


In this paper, we outline a study of the Twitter microblogging platform through a sample of French users. We discuss sampling methodology and compare three “issues” taken from the collected set of tweets. Based on the empirical findings we make a case for extending the notion of “information diffusion” to take into account questions of meaning, values, and ideology. We propose the concept of “refraction” to take a step toward this end.


Twitter; sampling; methodology; information diffusion; shared meaning; refraction; epistemology

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